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-hepoplE Lesson Plans
Florida: A Slave Sanctuary
Prepared by Lynne Wilbanks
Intended Grade: High School
Subject Area: U.S. history
Correlation to National or Florida Sunshine State Standards:
Standard A4: The student understands how religious, social, political, and economic developments
shaped the settlement patterns of the North American colonies.
To explain the reasons the Spanish provided sanctuary for British colonial slaves and the impact of
that on both the Spanish and the British.
Approximate Time Required: one class period
Computer with internet access or can use the computer information as a handout
The website Slavery in America
http://www.slaveryinamerica.orq/history/hs es florida slavery.htm
Students will go to the section of Slavery in America entitled "Florida: Sanctuary for Slaves." Read
and answer the following questions:
1. When did the first fugitive slaves arrive in Florida?
2. What religious requirement did they meet?
3. What work did they do?
4. What is a c6dula?
5. Summarize what it said.
6. Why do you think the Spanish who practiced slavery declared Florida to be a
sanctuary for fugitive slaves? (Hint: how could free blacks contribute to Spanish
Read the following from the South Carolina Report of the Committee of Conference on the Case of
the Negroes' Desertion to St. Augustine, April 2, 1739:
"That an Encouragement be given to white Men and free Indian for taking up and bringing
in all Negro Slaves that are already deserted or shall hereafter desert from this province
according to the rates andproportions fill, I iun. to wit,
For Negro men taken up beyond the Savannah River and brought home alive the sum
of 401b apiece,
For women taken and brought as above 251b each,
For children under the age of 12 years lOlb each, which sums shall be paid by
Their respective owners.
And that encouragement be given for bringing in the scalps of such men and women Negro
slaves that are already deserted or shall hereafter desert who shall be found beyond the
Savannah River and cannot be taken and brought home alive, to wit, for each scalp i/th the
two ears 201b to be paid out of the Publick Treasury. Such Negroes as shall be executedfor
the desertion of their owners shall be reimbursed by the Publick. "
7. What response did the British make to the c6dula? Is this an appropriate response?
Read the following from the South Carolina House of Assembly Records, July 23, 1740:
"It is u, i/h great Reason, we apprehend, that that Part of our Calamities, proceeding from the
frequent Attempts of our Slaves, arises from the Designs and Intrigues of our Enemies the
Spaniards in St. Augustine and Florida, who have had the Ruin and Destruction of these your
Majesty's Colonies in Snu,,l Carolina and Georgia long in View. Witness..a proclamation
published at St. Augustine, in his Catholic Majesty 's Name, promising Freedom and other
Encouragement to all slaves that should desert from your Majesty's Subjects of this Province
and join them. In Consequence of which Proclamation, many have already deserted, and
others encouraged daily to do the same; and even those who have committed the most
inhuman Murders, are there harboured, and entertained and caressed."
8. Based on your previous reading, is this record correct? Why or why not?
This assignment can be treated as daily work and can be the basis of quiz or test.
Deagan, Kathleen, and Darcie MacMahon, Fort Mose Colonial America's Black Fortress of Freedom
(University Press of Florida, Gainesville), 1995.
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